Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon - Dumaguete City, Philippines

While unable to help with the concrete work at the church today with Rick and Joey, we have still been able to do mission work here in the heart of Dumaguete City.

Those of you who know Thamer Calhoun, know that he has a great love for the Word of God, and for sharing it with anyone and everyone. Thamer is a member of the Wayne County Gideon Camp, and has given out hundreds – if not thousands – of copies of the New Testament. When he first considered coming here as part of the mission team four years ago, he felt as though there was nothing he could really do here.

“I can’t sing and I can’t preach.”, Thamer told me. “I don’t know of anything I can do to help.”

“Do you preach or sing at home” I asked.

“No, I’m just a Gideon.”

I challenged him, “Why not do scripture distribution in the Philippines?”

“Well, maybe so!” he said, and the rest is history.

Thamer tried to work out a deal with Gideon’s International, but they would not approve it due to the fact that there are Gideons in the Philippines. (Even in ministry we sometimes have to deal with bureaucracy!) Logistically it was very difficult for us to transport very many Bibles with us, but God graciously brought us into contact with the Philippine Bible Society who not only have Bibles at an affordable price, but can provide them in the Cebuano tongue, spoken on this island! Now we could give the complete Bible in their native dialect, and not just an English New Testament.

Folks like Mason Robinette, Locust Grove Baptist Church, Hyland Heights Baptist Church, and other friends of Beacon Ministries have provided the funds for distribution of several thousand Bibles and New Testaments here over the years. Thamer Calhoun has overseen the ministry in this place. One of the interesting twists is that over the past three years, we have come to meet and fellowship with some Filipino Gideons, who wholeheartedly welcomed our ministry as a supplement to theirs.

This afternoon Thamer can be found walking up and down the promenade along Rizal Boulevard on Dumaguete’s beautiful seafront – talking to complete strangers – passing out copies of God’s Word. Earlier in the day he had made sure that every employee of the Bethel Guest House (where we are staying) has their own copy of the Bible.

They love Thamer over here! They may not understand what he’s talking about sometimes, and he has trouble hearing them and understanding the broken English, but his love shows through and they recognize it. One man on the Boulevard who identified himself as Ephraim, told me, “Thank you for doing this ministry in Dumaguete! How the people here need to hear the Word of the Lord!”

People EVERYWHERE need the Lord.
Thank YOU for giving to this ministry and making this possible.

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